Building a treatment plant to remove heavy metals from abandoned mines along Cement Creek may cost an estimated $6.5 million, and operating it could cost another $910,000 a year, according to a Sunnyside Gold Corp. consultant.
Sunnyside Gold Corp. last October offered to contribute up to $6.5 million to address water quality issues in Cement Creek and the Animas River, including up to $5 million to operate “a cost-effective” treatment plant to process tainted water spewing from the mine portals above Silverton.
But that $5 million for operations would only keep the plant running for some five years, according to the report by MWH Global, of Boise, Idaho.
However, Larry Perino, reclamation manager for Sunnyside Gold Corp., said the report “does not suggest that other less expensive methodologies may not be feasible.”
Perino said the purpose of the MWH Global report was not to suggest the ultimate determination of what may be the best alternative. “Rather, it is the goal of the report to set forth feasible alternatives against which other methodologies or alternatives may be measured.”
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